Two More D.C. Manholes Erupt
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Two manhole covers flew into the air, including one near the White House late Friday, the latest in spate of so-called manhole explosions in the nation’s capital over the past few months.
No one was injured in the incident just outside the White House grounds, or in another that occurred earlier in the day in the downtown area of the city.
It’s not certain what has been causing the manholes to erupt, although the local electric power and natural gas utilities have been blaming each other. Friday’s incidents may have been caused by failed electric cable splices, according to the Potomac Electric Power Co.(PEPCO).
The incident late Friday just outside the fence at the rear of the White House grounds was reported by U.S. Secret Service agents, according to a Fire Department spokesman, who said the metal cover ``flew into the air and smoked up.″
There have been at least a half dozen such manhole explosions over the past few months in the city. On Feb. 18 three manhole covers flew open, soaring as high 30 feet into the air, in the Georgetown business district.
PEPCO in a report blamed the Feb. 13 incidents on workers at the Washington Gas Co., nicking a power cable. Washington Gas denied that and said tests showed the cable could not have been penetrated.
Both the D.C. fire department and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms have been investigating the incidents.